The Parish Nurse
Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying, "Who shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here I Am; Send Me!" -Isaiah 6:8
Questions a nurse might consider before entering the ministry of parish nursing:
- How do you see your personal gifts as an asset to parish nursing?
- What attracts you to the role of a parish nurse?
- What experience have you had in health education? Organizing programs? Individual counsel?
- Describe people you most enjoy being around. Describe those you least like being with.
- What leadership experiences have you had in the church setting?
- How do you care for yourself and find balance in your life?
- Is there any reason your current lifestyle would not be considered a good role model for the congregation you serve?
- What life experiences do you think have prepared you for "being with" a fellow struggler
in their journey?
- Are you being called to this ministry? Are you willing to make a long term committment?
Role of the Parish Nurse
- Personal health counselor - discuss health issues with people; makes home, hospital, and nursing home visits as needed.
- Health educator - provides education and support for all ages, with emphasis on prevention and wellness. Relate values, attitudes, lifestyle, faith , and well-being.
- Health advocate - assures necessary services are obtained by supporting and encouraging people to make good choices; or speaking for them when they cannot speak.
- Referral source - acts as a liaison to other congregational resources and to community services.
- Facilitator - recruits, coordinates, and resources within the congregation; develops support/small groups.
- Interpreter of the relationship between faith and health - in all activities seeks to promote an understanding of health and values, beliefs, behaviors, and well-being.